Understanding God's Presence: 2020 Mission to LAMB
Last Thursday, March 12, the jet landed in Charleston carrying our returning members of the St. Philip’s––St. Michael’s mission team to LAMB in Honduras. What a fantastic week! Mission accomplished: ninety dental patients treated––mostly children and some adult support staff––at the LAMB Children’s Home in San Buenaventura, and two buildings on site painted to completion. From an earthly perspective, the trip was a resounding success. It is, however, the spiritual blessings that each team member received that will remain with us forever.
The children at the home are all from the most challenged barrios of Tegucigalpa, all either abandoned or removed from dangerous situations at their homes. At the LAMB home, they are nurtured and cared for by an experienced staff, including a nurse and a psychologist. Here the kids can be kids. Laughter and love abounded in our interactions with the little residents. We shared play time, painted faces, made jewelry, had a hot dog cookout, sang songs, played soccer, and made new friendships.
Our team members agreed that a significant highlight of our time at the children’s home was the upside-down Sunday church service. Upside-down means that almost all of the duties of the service were performed by the children, not adults. It is truly amazing to see them in action. The music was glorious and spirit filled. Pastor Richard and his wife Lariza, immigrants from Cuba, provided our sermon. He spoke Spanish; she translated into English. Their preaching on the story of Nicodemus and being born again into the Kingdom of God was inspiring to all, and to see the children experiencing God’s love was transformative. Christ’s love and the Holy Spirit permeate every aspect of life at the home.
With our work completed at the children’s home, we took our last day to go to the inner-city barrio of Flor Del Campo to visit the LAMB Institute school, which has an enrollment of 244 students from preschool through grade nine. We attended their weekly devotional held in la cancha, which is a covered, 3rd-story elevated (because of the steep terrain) play area enclosed with link fencing. The views of the palms and the city are stunning with a gentle breeze passing through.
During this weekly devotional the school leaders led a discussion on the topic of justice, teaching the children about making wise choices. Our team was invited to stand at the front of the gathering to sing and participate in animated sing-a-longs with the kids, who expressed great passion and energy. With the mission team still in front of the gathering of children, personal prayer time began in which each child was individually prayed over by the teachers with the laying on of hands. Gentle music playing, eyes closed, and many times tears streaming down their faces, the children fully embraced the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Witnessing this outpouring of the Holy Spirit from the front of the gathering was awe inspiring. As if this experience weren’t enough spiritual energy for our team, we were then treated with the same experience, each one of us being prayed over by the teachers, supported by the children. Words cannot describe the feeling of love and the presence of the Holy Spirit that totally engulfed the team. Speaking on behalf of each team member, this experience was, without a doubt, one of the greatest of our lives.
After the devotional event, our gracious hosts treated us to a tour of the school and shared with us all the programs that have been implemented to give these children hope and an opportunity to change their lives. A number of students shared powerful heartfelt testimonies. A graduate of the school and now on LAMB scholarship at University, Dylan shared his story of how LAMB encouraged him to leave the dangerous, gang-filled streets of Flor and embrace a relationship with Jesus. His joy, gratitude, and commitment to serve others left us all even more determined to support this amazing, life-changing ministry that Suzy McCall was called to begin some 30 years ago.
Now being in the comfort of our homes in Charleston, we can reflect on this journey with fond memories, warm feelings, and a deeper understanding of God’s presence in the world and our lives. Thanks to our team members: Bob Ables, Georgia Barnett, and Ed Barnett from St. Michael’s; Pat Gould, Catherine Jones, Elaine Jarrett, Wallace Frampton, Connie Rink, John Rink, Parker Rink, Jeff Rink, and Olivia Brazier from St. Philip’s; and LAMB staff member Kirsten Marino, dentist and fluent Spanish-speaker Dr. Julie Driscoll, and Justin Fouts, who played guitar and took many of the pictures in the gallery below. Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support, and special thanks to Suzy McCall, Amanda Scott, Susan Keller, and Tammy and Guv Gottshalk for their dedication to God and commitment to the children of LAMB and beyond.
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